Putting the Garden to Bed

19 Nov

What a beautiful day it has been today ! The weather men promised us snow but here in Warwickshire we had bright sunshine and blue skies !


Today was a gardening day, so I was well wrapped up with my feet toasty in my new Ilse Jacobsen boots and a suitably tasteless woolly hat!

We had our first frosts this week , so several of the more tender perennials have been blackened, including the dahlias.


Over the years I have tried all the different ways to try and save my dahlias – digging them up and storing them in a frost free place, tucking them up under a thick duvet of compost, and even just keeping my fingers crossed!

None of these methods have been wholly successful, so this year I have decided to take a slightly different approach.Having removed the blackened stems, leaving a good 20cm of stem -so you can find them again in the spring and carefully labelled them,  I have swaddled the base of my dahlias in a thick mulch of standard compost. this will protect most of them from a reasonable frost although not necessarily a fortnight of snow. Waterlogged soil will also do for them as they will simply rot away.


This mulching will probably mean at least half of my dahlias will survive. So to keep the numbers up I shall be ordering some rooted cuttings from Halls of Heddon. I have ordered rooted cutting from Halls for the last couple of years and been surprised how big these cuttings get in their first summer and how many flowers they produce – just as good as a plant grown from a dry tuber.

Its one of my favourite jobs deciding which new dahlias to order and  almost impossible deciding which colours !


2 Responses to “Putting the Garden to Bed”

  1. Donkey Whisperer Farm November 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    This is the hardest time of year for me!

    • Emma Webber December 2, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

      I know it can be hard to find a gap in the weather to get out, but I always think a good day out in November is worth 2 in the summer !!

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